Normally, true nobility and royalty are insulated from criticism. In authoritarian societies, it’s rather uncommon to talk against, let alone “sue the king”. However, if you’re little more than the anointed “king of the hardwood”, you might be wary of the things you say.
Professional basketball has such an anointed king. His name is LeBron James, “King James” to the basketball world. But in reality, King James isn’t a king at all. True, LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an extremely gifted basketball star.
James was born in Akron, Ohio, to unwed parents of negligible nobility. In fact, LeBron James’ father had a rather unflattering criminal record. As kings go, LeBron James is not one. However, he does like to run his “moneymaker” in royal style.
It appears that King James’ proclivity to speak his mind about things he’d probably be well advised not to, has gotten LeBron in some hot water. Most public figures also realize the obvious downside of mocking “common people” in light of their lofty social status.
This doesn’t appear to deter LeBron James. One of his snarky public mockeries may leave King James a little lighter in his wallet. Evidently, a few months back, LeBron was paying close attention to the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial.
When Kyle broke down on the stand during testimony, LeBron didn’t offer any compassion. He didn’t keep his Twitter mouth shut, either. LeBron tweeted out a rather insensitive blast. “Man, knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court,” mocked the NBA star.
Immediately, people with obviously a slightly higher level of common sense than LeBron James chastised his post. Some were puzzled at how James could continually plop himself on the wrong side of contentious social issues. It’s as if he strives to be an aggravating antagonist.
Well, this time, the person on the other end is contemplating a lawsuit for personal damages. Rittenhouse was talking to host Drew Hernandez on a recent debut show for “Frontlines”. On the Tuesday special, Rittenhouse indicated that he planned to sue LeBron James.
Good for Kyle. The now well-known teenager espoused, “He’ll be getting a letter, too.” It appears the young Mr. Rittenhouse is sticking up for himself. Good for him. Rittenhouse continued, “Anybody who defamed me, or lied about me, we’re just gonna send them a letter and then deal with them in a courtroom.”
A few months ago, Kyle also denounced himself from once being a proud “LA Lakers’ fan”, thanks to LeBron’s insensitive comment. When the young man told LeBron to basically “go F himself”, someone had to have cracked an approving grin.
The United States Constitution’s First Amendment gives its citizens the right to free speech. It is a cherished right. However, it’s also a right that comes with responsibility. Laws in the U.S. are written to prevent someone from exercising their free speech rights to slander or defame someone.
There are legal precedents in place to protect people from these types of personal assaults. It becomes especially important to exercise good judgment when you’re in the public spotlight. The onus is on the individual who posts or speaks disparagingly.
If it defames the person, then the person has the right to pursue legal satisfaction. Unfortunately, King James didn’t exercise good judgment. He attacked a young man who was fighting for his freedom. LeBron James should be ashamed. But he’s not.
James’ tweets and comments were both insensitive and defaming. He should be held accountable. Equally unfortunate is the fact that whatever settlement or judgment Kyle receives from James, it will be chump change for the wealthy star.
Oh well, maybe LeBron will gift Kyle with a new pair of autographed “Chinese-made King James sneakers”. We hope Kyle refuses that gesture with a polite, “no, thank you.” Perhaps, if the judgment against LeBron James is substantial enough, this “king” will think twice before he runs his royal moneymaker again.